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Dog Friendly Chicago – Buckingham Fountain

Sometimes it’s fun to be a tourist in your home town.

With Lake Michigan to the east and the Chicago skyline to the west, south, and north, Buckingham Fountain is a fun place for people and dogs. The fountain is one of the largest fountains in the world. Located at Columbus Drive and Congress Parkway in Grant Park in downtown Chicago, the fountain operates from early April through mid-October, depending on the weather. Leashed dogs are permitted in Grant Park and around Buckingham Fountain, but not in nearby Northerly Island, Millennium Park, and Maggie Daley Park.

Ruby visits dog-friendly Chicago Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park

Exploring Dog Friendly Chicago: Buckingham Fountain

The Fountain produces a major water display for 20 minutes every hour with a center jet shooting water 150 feet in the air. At dusk, spectacular lights accompany the water display, every hour on the hour for 20 minutes with the final display beginning at 10:35 p.m. When the wind blows, the water lightly mists the surrounding pavement and any dogs (or people) who happen to be nearby.

Buckingham Fountain opened to the public in 1927. Inspired by the Latona Fountain at Versailles, the fountain was designed by Edward H. Bennett in collaboration with French sculptor Marcel Loyau and engineer Jacques H. Lambert. The massive fountain, composed of four basins made of carved granite and pink marble, symbolizes the power and enormity of Lake Michigan. The lower basin features four bronze sea horses representing the states that border the lake.

Dog Friendly Chicago's Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park

Buckingham Fountain and Grant Park are both dog-friendly and a great place for a walk, as long as your dog is comfortable with crowds. The surrounding gardens in Grant Park are shady (in parts), but the immediate area around the fountain is full sun so bring water. Unless there’s an event or festival going on, the park also offers a break from the crowds and plenty of open space for walks.

This was Ruby’s first trip downtown and she handled it like a pro. She’s sometimes a bit reactive with people she doesn’t know, especially unfamiliar men. We have been working to help her feel more comfortable and less anxious in new situations. Our trip to Buckingham Fountain was a big test and she passed with flying colors!

Ruby cools off in front of dog-friendly Buckingham Fountain in Chicago's Grant Park

Disclaimer: Ruby is ALWAYS leashed when outside our home. I photoshop her leash out of photographs for aesthetic reasons, but would never remove her leash in real life.


  1. Julie
    September 14, 2016 / 11:10 am

    Wow, what an impressive fountain!!!! What a great place to visitLoves and licky kissesPrincess Leah xxx

  2. Marg
    September 14, 2016 / 11:24 am

    Oh Ruby, I bet that was a fun place to go. Good for you for being such a good girl. We are so glad that you have that wonderful family and we just know that is why you are getting more confident in life. You all have a great day.

  3. Princely Paws
    September 14, 2016 / 11:32 am

    Looks like a lovely place to hang around with your dog

  4. Edie ThePug
    September 14, 2016 / 11:51 am

    You are doing an amazing job with Ruby getting her more comfortable and confident by taking her into environments that might make her uncomfortable. What a beautiful place you choose to take her, the fountain and photos are lovely.

  5. Mark Muller
    September 14, 2016 / 11:52 am

    what a wonderful place!!! and yes it is great to bea tourist for a while… you can see efurrything with the eyes of a guest and sometimes we see even old things a brandnew way :o)

  6. McGuffy Ann Morris
    September 14, 2016 / 12:04 pm

    This is great. I grew up in Chicago, and now live on the IL/WI border, far NE corner. It is see to see good things about Chicago. I remember the good.

  7. Hawkeye BrownDog
    September 14, 2016 / 12:22 pm

    Hi Y'all So glad you had a great time and weren't scared in the big city.Y'all come on by Hawk aka BrownDog

  8. Lola The Rescued Cat
    September 14, 2016 / 12:54 pm

    You're so right, Ruby! Mommy had friends in town yesterday and zje told them "I don't know what's around here. I'm never in this part of town." Maybe she should start being a tourist!

  9. Three Chatty Cats
    September 14, 2016 / 1:09 pm

    I've been to Chicago a couple times but never really as a tourist. When I go again, I would love to have Ruby as my tour guide. 🙂 And that fountain looks very cool!

  10. Yamini MacLean
    September 14, 2016 / 1:11 pm

    Hari OMIt is a sad fact that most of us take our hometowns somewhat for granted and think that 'one day we'll visit this or that place'… but those days never come round! Thank you for showing us this beautiful and amazing fountain!!! Hugs and wags, YAM-aunty xxx

  11. Chasing Dog Tales
    September 14, 2016 / 2:13 pm

    What a beautiful fountain. Anything with seahorses is a hit with me! I'm glad Ruby did so well visiting the city and park and I'm sure it will go a long way in helping her with the reactivity. She's a sweetheart!

  12. AmyShojai
    September 14, 2016 / 2:13 pm

    I think Magic would try to bite the water in the fountain…what a great place to relax!

  13. Two French Bulldogs
    September 14, 2016 / 3:06 pm

    Momma loves ChicagoSnorts,Lily & Edward

  14. Amber Ketchum
    September 14, 2016 / 3:14 pm

    Great photography! I loved Chicago when I visited. This post made me want a chicago dog so bad 🙁

  15. Sheltie Times
    September 14, 2016 / 4:39 pm

    What a great spot. Thanks for sharing it.

  16. Saddle Seeks Horse
    September 14, 2016 / 4:39 pm

    YES!!! My hometown. I got my first dog when I lived in Chicago. I never took her to Buckingham Fountain, but that would have been fun. We'd go to the dog beach (is it Montrose?). One of my SoCal neighbors lives half the year in Chicago. She has a lab and said she loves living downtown–so dog friendly.

  17. Cathy Keisha
    September 14, 2016 / 4:54 pm

    Wow! I don't think I'd like to be near a place where I can get wet. TW would love to go to Chicago and especially Wrigley Field. You should come back at night to get pics of those lights!

  18. Lessons From A Paralyzed Dog
    September 14, 2016 / 5:22 pm

    Such a beautiful setting. I see why Pip likes it.

  19. Tenacious Little Terrier
    September 14, 2016 / 5:53 pm

    I've walked in Grant Park before but Mr. N has never been to Chicago! He likes looking at water but not getting wet.

  20. Emma
    September 14, 2016 / 6:01 pm

    Be have been through Chicago, but need to visit and spend some time. Nice city!

  21. Sketching with Dogs
    September 14, 2016 / 6:09 pm

    What a beautiful fountain! Definitely worth a visit.Elliot and Cricket x

  22. Nichole Burke
    September 14, 2016 / 6:33 pm

    Those are some stunning photos, but I especially love that first one! What a beautiful place to visit, and so cool that it's dog friendly!

  23. Kinley Westie
    September 14, 2016 / 6:36 pm

    I'd luv to play in dat!

  24. Bryn Nowell
    September 14, 2016 / 7:16 pm

    Too cool! Looks like an awesome place to visit! I'm glad you're able to spend time there! Thanks for sharing your amazing photos.

  25. Dory and the Mama
    September 14, 2016 / 7:44 pm

    So very true, Ruby! You have such a beautiful hometown, too!!Smileys!Dory, Jakey, Arty & Bilbo

  26. Shadow
    September 14, 2016 / 7:46 pm

    That looks like a great place to go play. Did you get to play in the water?Shadow, Stealth, and Sarah

  27. Bella Roxy & Macdui
    September 14, 2016 / 7:51 pm

    That's a beautiful fountain….and we love to hear Dog-friendly!

  28. Emily
    September 14, 2016 / 8:22 pm

    Gorgeous fountain and dog friendly to boot!

  29. Pawesome Cats
    September 14, 2016 / 8:34 pm

    That's an impressive fountain – no wonder it's a favourite spot for dogs and their people.

  30. Murphy
    September 14, 2016 / 8:35 pm

    You have a great town for exploring too! When our mom was a young girl at the end of the school year the whole class would go to one of the libraries, Brookfield Zoo or to tour the Trib!Your Pals,Murphy & Stanley

  31. Bocci
    September 14, 2016 / 8:39 pm

    Thanks for sharing this beautiful fountain and park with us! I like your note at the end of the post about the leash… Bocci is only off leash in dark parks, which we don't go to that often—mainly because other humans don't seem to pay attention to the rules:-)

  32. tubby3pug
    September 14, 2016 / 8:43 pm


  33. Prospector Pups
    September 14, 2016 / 8:58 pm

    How beautiful! My boyfriend is from Chicago and he has always wanted to take me there but I refuse to go without my dog. (We live in AZ) Good to know there are beautiful dog friendly places!

  34. Molly and Mackie
    September 14, 2016 / 9:05 pm

    What a beautiful fountain! We hope you felt the spray, Ruby!

  35. Idaho PugRanch
    September 14, 2016 / 9:52 pm

    OMD! What a beautiful fountian and good job Ruby! hugsMr Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

  36. Raising Your Pets Naturally
    September 14, 2016 / 10:00 pm

    We visited Chicago, but not that amazing fountain! Maybe we'll go back to check it out. Thanks for the cool post and photos.

  37. Ruth Epstein
    September 14, 2016 / 10:04 pm

    WOW what an amazing fountain, not sure if Layla would go close to it as Madam hates water BOL

  38. Daily Dog Tag
    September 14, 2016 / 10:06 pm

    What a wonderful day! I am glad that you included the disclaimer about the leash! I know that a lot of the dogs I share on my page have had the leashes photoshopped out.

  39. Sammy Sam
    September 14, 2016 / 10:08 pm

    Ah that's what a part of Chicago looks like in the daytime. My dad said that Air Canada stranded him in Chicago late one night. He stayed the night in a hotel before heading home the next day.

  40. Rosa Doodle
    September 14, 2016 / 10:47 pm

    Beautiful pictures! My son just moved to Chicago and I'm so impressed how dog friendly it is!

  41. Brian
    September 15, 2016 / 12:01 am

    That looks like a fun out n' about pretty Ruby! My Dad says he has always had a good time in Chicago!

  42. The Island Cats
    September 15, 2016 / 1:16 am

    What a fun outing you had, Ruby!

  43. FiveSibesMom
    September 15, 2016 / 1:37 am

    Beautiful photos! What a fun adventure! Love hearing of dog-friendly places!

  44. Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat
    September 15, 2016 / 2:01 am

    Yay, Ruby! What fun! I'm going to have to take a road trip to see this fountain and the rest of the park!

  45. Jackie Bouchard
    September 15, 2016 / 2:34 am

    That looks like a fun outing! Rita can be the same – reactive to strange men so we try to also try new things where she can have a good experience. Glad she had a good time and did well. (And love your leash note.)

  46. KB Bear
    September 15, 2016 / 2:37 am

    Yipee for Ruby!!! I can literally see the changes in her confidence in your photos. You've done such wonders for her. I'm so happy for all of you.

  47. Ruby
    September 15, 2016 / 3:32 am

    Oh, that is soooo cool!!!!! We don't have many fountains running anymore with the drought, butts some are coming up with recycled systems, that will hopefully be more widely used. I miss them, they are so purty!Way to go gurl!!! I knew you could do it! I don't mind crowds, butts I try and smear peeps with my slobbers and for some reason, peeps don't like that! geesh.Kisses,Ruby ♥(the OTHER Ruby….☺)

  48. Sweet Purrfections
    September 15, 2016 / 3:32 am

    what a great idea to tour your own hometown. I've lived near Columbia, SC most of my life and still haven't seen some of the interesting things here. We have a lot of history because of the Civil War.

  49. Christine Caplan
    September 15, 2016 / 4:19 am

    It's so awesome to see you pics of Chicago – I lived at 14 West Elm for many years and I didn't have dogs at the time. I WISH I lived in the city with dogs as there is so much exploring to do! Old haunts!

  50. Casey
    September 15, 2016 / 3:31 pm

    I've never been to Chicago, but Momma lived there for a few years and loved walking by the fountain!

  51. Jean Dion
    September 15, 2016 / 7:57 pm

    That looks gorgeous! I love public fountains like that. Sinead is terrified of water displays, so she wouldn't dig it. But I sure would.Jean from Welcome to the Menagerie

  52. Cathy Armato
    September 15, 2016 / 8:25 pm

    What a stunning fountain, so nice to have in your city. Your photos are amazing! Ruby looks so adorable sitting for her photos, what a good girl! I'm impressed that you know how to Photoshop out her leash, it looks completely natural – great job.Love & Biscuits,Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

  53. Sarah Throlson
    September 19, 2016 / 12:05 pm

    Wow! That fountain (and your first picture of it) looks amazing!Sarah | Luxe Water Walls

  54. Groovy Goldendoodles
    October 4, 2016 / 2:05 pm

    That fountain would be like an aphrodisiac to Jaxson – he would race towards it and jump right in!

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